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My Life and Study in Tomsk by Nguen Txi Thuc

I am a Vietnamese student residing in Tomsk and studying at Tomsk Polytechnic University. I have been living here for two years already but it would be remiss to say I am well adjusted to the Russian weather and life in this town. My life in Tomsk is very unlike my previous twenty years in Vietnam. When I came here, the first shock was (same as to all other foreign students) was the cold weather of this Siberian town, which is natural for the national of the country where +10ºC is akin to a disaster. But here I am in Tomsk, where -45ºC is not infrequent in winter. The cold consumes a lot of our energy and one feels drowsy most of the time and unable to carry on with normal life as before. Russian students have an entirely different schedule. Before, I would go to the university every day only in the morning (06:30 to 11.30 a.m.) or in the afternoon (12:30 to 17:30 p.m.), whereas here the working day commences at 08:30 a.m. and lasts through 18:00 p.m., which is too bad for us. After classes I would go shopping, come home, cook and eat the dinner and… the day is almost over. It feels as if the working day here is very short and we have very little time to enjoy sports, walk out or study at home. Another big problem is the two or three months of the stipend backlog. It is not big money to begin with, but we have to pay for everything: food, clothes, shoes, tuition, books, textbooks, notebook and computers. And we still have to save the money to be able to visit our parents every year or two. However, I am no longer a student of a preliminary department or a freshman. I try to live and study the way the Russian students do and day-by-day grow more accustomed to local lifestyle. This is all about my life of a foreign student in this strange town and foreign land. And now I would like to add a few words about my study here. One may say we came to this foreign land knowing full well of these difficulties only to get better education. And I think this is where we can do our best in Tomsk. Despite lectures and practical courses in a foreign language, we can comprehend them pretty well, because we study Russian as well, and we love it. In this student community we have everything it takes to study well. We have good lecture rooms and nice hardware for tests and practicing. We have the best tutors, instructors and lecturers, including famous professors and associated professors. In addition, the TPU boast a huge scientific and technical library where one can borrow all necessary books and tutorials for all subjects. Tomsk boasts big bookstores where one can buy the books by the most renowned authors and international publishing houses although the prices are not too handsome. What I like most is that all AVTF Department students have their personal computers linked by data highways to the LAN, town and the Internet where we can find all data related to our specialty. Even though some things about Tomsk are not pleasing, I study here. And it's not only about specialty training; it's about learning to live independently as well. And now I can say that Tomsk is my second hometown and I love it.

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